Mendel Trait Technology Advances Towards Commercial Launch

Sep 28, 2011, 08:00 ET from Mendel Biotechnology Inc.

HAYWARD, Calif., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mendel Biotechnology Inc. ("Mendel") announced today that a regulatory petition by Monsanto Company was made recently to the USDA for soybean plants containing Mendel's leading yield gene. The filing is a key part of the regulatory path as the trait moves closer to commercial launch. Approval of the petition is one of the final milestones needed to make the high yield soybean plants available to farmers.  

The underlying yield gene represents Mendel's flagship commercial trait technology and was discovered and developed through a research collaboration funded by Monsanto leveraging Mendel's deep expertise in plant gene regulation and network biology. Mendel possesses patent rights related to this yield gene in major agricultural production geographies and sees application potential for the gene to be licensed in various fields, including forestry, energy crops and others. Mendel, which has remained privately held since it was founded in 1997, has developed a leading portfolio of ag biotech traits for improved yield and stress tolerance in large acreage and high value crops. In addition to already having a number of trait technologies that were developed in the past decade, Mendel is deploying a suite of state-of-the-art, genomics-based technical platforms for discovery and development of new technologies to meet global yield and stress tolerance targets and the need for improved efficiency of using resources like water and nitrogen.

As well as working to commercialize its current traits, Mendel is also deploying its knowledge of plant gene regulatory networks to the discovery of novel chemistries to improve plant performance in its Chemistry business segment, and to the development of improved varieties of the premier energy crop, miscanthus, in its Seeds business segment.

"We are absolutely delighted that Monsanto has submitted a dossier for deregulation of soybean plants that contain our high-yield gene.  This submission underscores our belief in the potential of our technology strategy and business and validates our long term R&D strategy focused on understanding and improving the regulation of gene networks that control important plant traits," said Neal Gutterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mendel. "With the continued development of this and other technologies, we are now in position to apply our knowledge of gene networks and our technology platforms to the discovery and development of additional biotech traits."

About Mendel

Mendel is a premier independent corporation serving large agricultural companies with new genetic and chemical solutions for improvement of crop yield and resource use efficiency and is also dedicated to becoming the leading seed company serving the bioenergy industry. Mendel's technology organization has a very deep expertise base in the application of functional genomics to the study of plant genes and the company is also a pioneer in the production of dedicated energy crops critical for second generation biofuels. Mendel has identified and patented the use of genes that control many aspects of plant growth and development, and is applying these inventions to develop or co-develop new plant varieties with improved productivity and quality. Mendel has relationships with leading agricultural, energy, forestry and horticulture companies for the commercialization of improved seed and plant products, and is developing new seed and feedstock products for the emerging bioenergy markets. For more information, visit:

Contact: Oliver J. Ratcliffe, Sr. Vice President, Research. Ph.: (510) 259-6146

SOURCE Mendel Biotechnology Inc.